June 23, 2017
For most anglers, time on the water is pretty valuable. For one South Carolina man it led to a state record swordfish and a six-figure pay day.
Fishing aboard the Pay Dirt in the annual Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish Classic, held earlier this month in Biloxi, Scott Cochran of Mt. Pleasant, S.C., was behind the reel on a 242-pound, 8.64-ounce swordfish that broke the state record by more than 150 pounds.
With various incentives, the fish was worth $325,000, including a $100,000 prize from the event's "Swordfish Jackpot," which promised a big cash award to anyone who held the record through the end of the tournament.. The rest of the payoff was based on incentives from several sponsors.
The new record was certified earlier this week by Mississippi Commission on Marine Resources, according to an agency press release.
- See below for the full-frame photo
The previous record was 75 pounds, set in August, 2007. The record was broken four times in the Classic before Cochran's catch, according to a report by Mississippi Sportsman, which said this was the first year the tournament had a swordfish category.
The swordfish wasn't the only big winner in the tournament, and it wasn't even the most valuable fish.
Five other fish won six-figure payoffs, including a blue marlin worth $403,000. Two other blue marlins won $397,925 and $242,940, respectively. Both weighed more than 550 pounds, with two over 650.
Event organizers said in all, a tournament-record payoff of more than $2 million was awarded.
Learn more about the Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish Classic here